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Joan Cox (c1717-1796)

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Joan Cox
Sex: Female
Birth: c1717
Death: 19/12/1796 Northleigh, Devon
Spouse/Partner: Thomas Underdown
Marriage: 2 April 1749 Northleigh, Devon

The origins of Joan Cox are currently unknown. It is possible that she is the daughter of John Cox who was baptised in Broad Clyst, Devon on 27/11/1717, but more research is required to determine if this is the case.

MarriageEdit

Joan married Thomas Underdown in the church at Northleigh on the 2nd April 1749. Thomas was the son of Thomas and Grace Underdown (nee Pennington) and came from a large family.

YeomanryEdit

Horshayne farmhouse

Hornshayne Farmhouse, photo courtesy of helpfulholidays.com

It appears that Thomas was a yeoman who farmed on a lease granted to him by the Prideaux family, the lords of the manor at Netherton Hall in Farway. The Prideaux family had a property called Hornshayne Farm that covered the corners of 4 parish tithe areas - Northleigh, Southleigh, Colyton and Farway. This was the property on which Thomas farmed and his family was raised. The farmhouse was built circa 1700 and is now Grade II listed. The property is generally listed in Farway.

FreeholderEdit

Thomas also owned some land outright in the parish of Offwell, but where this was located is not yet known. It is possible that this land was inherited after his mother’s death, as Thomas’ elder siblings had been born and baptised in the parish of Widworthy. As the will of his mother has long been destroyed, we have no evidence to prove this.

Father tom in sam under will

The section of Samuel Underdown's will that mentions plots of land inherited from his father Thomas

ChildrenEdit

Thomas and Joan would raise their family in Northleigh. In a 25 year period (between 1750 and 1775), they had 18 known children, all born alive. This is largest set of siblings we have located for the Underdown family and it appears that this made the family well known throughout the district.

Many of their children would go on to marry families also well established within the district, including the Whites, Bishops, Padys and Mitchells.

Eldest child and daughter Sarah was named after Thomas’s sister Sarah who had died two years before.

Daughter Anne, who was baptised in 1773, appears to have died sometime in her infancy. Exactly when has not been established, but it is believed to have been before 1775, when Thomas and Joan christened another daughter with the name Anna. Anne is the only one of the 18 children to have died before the age of 30.

The birth of Thomas & Joan Underdown’s eighteenth child, Anna, was eventful enough to be recorded in a local newspaper (The Sherborne and Yeolvil Mecury on 27/11/1775).

Covenant to produce deedsEdit

There is a reference in the Devon Record Office to Thomas Underdown of Hornshayne, yeoman, and John Tozer of Ottery St Mary, yeoman, in regards to a covenant to produce deeds relating to tenements called Riders and Lambrookes of the Farway parish area. The document states that the two men each possessed a moiety of ten twelfths of the two tenements, and that the deeds were held by Thomas Underdown. The document is dated 21/10/1781.

First marriage of a ChildEdit

The first of Thomas and Joan Underdown’s 18 children to marry was second child and daughter Jane in April 1783. Youngest child Anna was 8 years old at the time, which means that all 18 children were still likely to be living in the house at Hornshayne until the time of this marriage.

Death of DaughterEdit

Thomas and Joan’s eldest daughter, Sarah died and was buried in Northleigh on the 15th August 1783. She was aged 33, and is the only other child of this family (besides Anne) to die before her parents.

ApprenticesEdit

In Apprentice and Master Records held by the Devon Record Office, a Robert Smith was apprenticed to Thomas Underdown for part of Hornshayne Estate in 1784.

Another apprentice record from the Devon Record Office has a John Hill apprenticed to Thomas Underdown for Sand Pits Estate, in husbandry, dated 16/10/1788.

Death of HusbandEdit

Husband Thomas died in Northleigh in April 1795 and was buried in the local parish church at Northleigh on the 26th April 1795. His cause of death is currently unknown. He was aged approximately 78 years.

Thomas left a will on his death which is mentioned in his son Samuel's will. It is also listed in the calendar of Wills and Administrations for the County of Devon. Unfortunately, the will no longer exists as it was located in the Principal Register of Exeter when it was bombed during the blitz of WWII.

Samuel mentions in his will that he and his brother Robert inherited plots of land from their father in the parish of Offwell. This is likely to be the land mentioned earlier that Thomas may have inherited from mother Grace.

DeathEdit

Joan died just two years later on the 19th December 1796. It is believed that she was buried in Northleigh along with her husband, but a burial record is yet to be located.

Joan also left a will on her death that was proved in early 1797. It suffered the same fate as her husbands, destroyed in the blitz of WWII. What she left and to whom is currently unknown.

ChildrenEdit

Name Birth Death
Children of Thomas & Joan Underdown


Sarah bap 1/3/1750
Devon
bur 15/8/1783
bur Northleigh, Devon


Jane bap 8/10/1752
Northleigh, Devon
February 1836
bur Northleigh, Devon


Robert bap 12/1/1755
Northleigh, Devon
bur 10/4/1811
bur Northleigh,Devon


Abraham bap 6/1/1756
Northleigh, Devon
June 1837
bur 1/7/1837 Greenwich, London


Thomas bap 17/4/1757
Northleigh, Devon
23/4/1839
Wilmington, Devon


James bap 6/11/1758
Northleigh, Devon
bur 16/6/1826
bur St Clement Dane, London


Philip bap 24/2/1760
Northleigh, Devon
March Q 1845
Lambeth, Surrey


Samuel bap 11/5/1761
Northleigh, Devon
bur 3/2/1812
bur Northleigh, Devon


Benjamin bap 6/10/1762
Northleigh, Devon
22/4/1853
Branscombe, Devon


Joseph bap 7/5/1764
Northleigh, Devon
April- May 1799
bur Piccadilly, London


Elizabeth bap 27/5/1765
Northleigh, Devon
after 1839


Molly bap 6/7/1766
Northleigh, Devon


Agnes bap 5/4/1768
Northleigh, Devon
21/6/1846
Northleigh, Devon


Noah bap 26/12/1770
Northleigh, Devon
bur 26/8/1837
Northleigh, Devon


Emanuel bap c 1771
16/4/1845
Farway, Devon


Anne bap 12/4/1773
Northleigh, Devon
before 1775


Susanna bap 11/9/1774
Northleigh, Devon
September 1834
bur Widworthy, Devon


Anna bap 27/11/1775
Northleigh, Devon
after 1851


ReferencesEdit

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